Summary and Analysis of The Good Morrow by John Donne
In this article, you will learn about introduction to the poet John Donne, introduction to the poem The Good Morrow, summary of the poem, and critical appreciation of The Good Morrow.
Text of the Poem | The Good Morrow by John Donne
I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.
Introduction to the Poet John Donne
John Donne was an outstanding English poet, born in a Roman Catholic family and later in 1590s converted to Anglicanism. He is one of the famous metaphysical poets. Metaphysical poetry is a poetry that is not worldly or common but it goes beyond the physical world.it is a very intellectual form of poetry as it explores the spiritual world. The main theme of Donne’s metaphysical poetry is philosophical and the main subjects of Donne’s poetry is love, religion, God, beauty and faith.
Introduction to John Donne’s Poem The Good Morrow
The Good-Morrow is one of Donne’s love songs. This song is purely an aubade, a song of morning love. Donne’s main part of poetry is on faith and religion but this song is secular in its nature. His many works contrast heavily with his later sacred works.
The song, “The Good Morrow” was probably written when Donne was a young man and recently married but published little after the poet’s death; in 1633. This song has three stanzas. All three stanzas have iambic pentameter with some variations. Each stanza has its own metaphors, images, and thoughts that gives a unity to the main theme of the poem. The main idea of the poem revolves around love. John done describe love in three phases in this song.
Rhyme Scheme and meter of the Poem “The Good-Morrow”
The Good-Morrow poem consists of three stanzas. Each stanza has iambic pentameter with some variations. The poem has total 21 lines and out of 21, 13 lines have pure iambic pentameter with a regular daDUM daDUM beat.. Most of the poem has five regular beats and ten syllables in each line as in below lines:
· I won / der, by / my troth, / what thou / and I
· Did, till / we loved? / Were we / not weaned / till then?
The last line of the stanza has twelve syllables, so count as hexameters (six feet). Look at the line below:
· Which I / desired, / and got, / ’twas but / a dream / of thee.
Out of 21 lines, 8 lines (line no 1,6, 8, 13, 16,17,19, and 20) have variations. The variations are in term of syllable counts. Some lines have an extra beat e.g. 11 syllables as the line below:
· Or snor / ted we / in the Sev / en Sleep / ers’ den?
Stanza Wise Summary of the Poem The Good Morrow
A reader can comprehend the main idea of the poem by reading out a summary of the poem “The Good Morrow”. The poem comprises three stanzas, and each stanza is explained below. Each stanza has its own metaphors, images, and thoughts that gives a unity to the main theme of the poem. The main idea of the poem revolves around love. John done describe love in three phases in this song.
In the first phase, the speaker describes the life of a child before the stage of love. He describes this phase of life as a meaningless life, which they lived with no charm. During this period of life, people around them fed them up. They were unaware about purpose of life. The speaker sketches a period of childish life as a deep slumber that was dormant and boring. He like nothing now if he has any desire for beauty and dreams it is to get her love.
In the second stanza of the song, Donne poet explains about the second phase where he is living a life full of love with his wife. Donne welcomes this phase of life with welcome salutation; good-morrow. Title of the poem is also taken from the first line of a second stanza that is “And now good-morrow to our waking souls”.
The last stanza of the song focuses on how aligned the both lovers are. They are one being instead of two, and together they make up a whole world by true love. He poet further requests her beloved to stay with him in this little room because for him this little room is their world they should not be bothered about the new discoveries of the world outside this room. The poet says that her beloved is very beautiful, and he is looking continuously in her beloved’s eyes and in return; she is also looking into his eyes; thus, they are looking their own faces in each other’s eyes. The poet is very satisfied with the moments he is enjoying and he has no fear of death because they have a true love for one another and even death cannot would fail to kill them.